Monday, June 16, 2014

Starbucks Adding Wireless Cellphone Charging

Along with the ubiquitous laptops plugged in around the perimeter of any Starbucks, recently a spate of dying-out cellphones have been added to the competition for an empty outlet. Always on the hunt for a new trend, Starbucks is now rolling out tables and counters embedded with Powermat wireless induction chargers (sponsored by manufacturer Duracell).  

Since no current smartphones have induction charging capability built-in, to use the invisible chargers requires a small adapter plugged into your phone.  Then set your phone on the counter, and watch it charge away.  The tech-savvy Bay Area is first to get the new technology, and if the trial program is successful, expect nationwide Starbucks locations to follow.  And if this form of charging catches on expect the next generation of phones to have the capability built in without the need for an adapter.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:

Excerpt: "Starbucks is rolling out wireless charging stations in its coffee shops nationwide, starting with the Bay Area.

'Stores will be equipped with "Powermat Spots" — designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their compatible device and charge wirelessly,' the chain said in a statement.

The charging stations come from Duracell Powermat, a joint venture between Procter & Gamble’s Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies.
Every smartphone and tablet on the market will be able to be charged. - CEO of Powermat Technologies Ran Poliakine

'Every smartphone and tablet on the market will be able to be charged,' Ran Poliakine, chief executive of Powermat Technologies, told the Los Angeles Times.

However, it’s generally not quite as simple as placing a phone with a depleted battery onto the charging station: The technology isn’t baked into most mobile devices.

To get around that issue, users can plug a small Powermat accessory called the Ring into their device’s charging port and place the Ring onto the charging station. Another option is to use a compatible charging case — Powermat sells them for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and 5S and the Samsung Galaxy S3 — or portable battery.

'Over time, we expect that these features will be embedded in the device,' Poliakine said."

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